There’s something about supermarket bread that just doesn’t cut it (excuse the pun). It’s unnaturally moist, chewy, sweet and white. There’s virtually no substance you can spread on it that doesn’t result in big, nasty holes, through which all your sandwich filling falls. When toasted, the bread either turns in to some kind of thin cardboard-like plate, or flakes away with every crunch all over your lap.
The solution? Home-made bread. Preferably a loaf along the lines of this delicious recipe for a good, wholesome rye. This particular one was adapted from a Finnish recipe, and has been tweaked over the past five years to form what we think is the perfect rye loaf.
3 cups wholemeal or wholewheat flour
1 cup rye flour
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons dried compressed yeast
2 tablespoons of molasses OR golden syrup OR malt extract OR treacle
2-3 tablespoons oil or butter
1 3/4 cups warm water or beer
2 teaspoons caraway seeds (optional)
- Place wholewheat flour, rye flour, salt and caraway seeds (if used) in a bowl. Make a well in center. Add all the remaining ingredients to the well.
- Mix all ingredients initially with a wooden spoon, until roughly mixed. If mixture seems too dry, add a little more water/beer.
- Kneed the mixture for 10 minutes, until smooth and elastic, adding a little more flour from time to time if the mixture is too sticky.
- Form dough into a ball, and cover the mixing bowl with plastic wrap or a damp tea-towel.
- Leave to prove for 2 hours.
- Lightly oil a baking tray or loaf tin and dust with flour.
- Take the cover off the mixing bowl. Punch the dough down in the center. Shape dough into desired form (e.g. free-form oblong shape, or in square loaf tin, etc). Leave alone until nearly doubled in size. While this is happening, preheat oven to 200°C.
- Place in hot oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour, depending on how crusty you like your bread.
- The loaf should be cooked when it gives a hollow sound when tapped. Allow to cool before serving – it is usually better the day after baking. Enjoy!